English Camp in Korea January 2008

Annyeong haseyo. (= Hello in Korea)
On January 2, 2008 three English&More

teachers (Jaime Carr, Deedee Barbasetti,

and Kelly Criscitiello) started an adventure to South Korea. We went there to teach a two-week intensive English camp for children (7-13 years old) and we even had some time to travel around a little bit. It was a truly inspiring experience! Korea is such an amazing place and the people are so hospitable, respectful, and helpful. We taught the children English and introduced them to American culture, but they also taught us a lot about their customs. For example, we really developed our chopstick skills and we practiced the Korean custom of taking off our shoes when we entered someone’s house. It was a wonderful exchange of cultural learning, but like all trips we had many ups and downs.
After 19 hours of flying and a few connecting

flights we arrived in Tokyo, Japan ready to
hop on our next connecting flight to Busan,
Korea, but we were pleasantly surprised to
find out our flight had been delayed and we
would be spending a free night in Tokyo.
We were really tired and jet lagged, but
the idea of exploring Tokyo for the night
suddenly gave us a new burst of energy. The International Airport is actually not in Tokyo, but in a town called Narita which is a little outside of the city, so technically we just explored the downtown area of Narita. Nevertheless, we had a great time and it was exciting to have a detour in Japan.
When we finally got to Korea we drove to our final destination city, Pohang, which is in the southeast region of Korea. Then we started our preparation for the “Experience English 2008 Winter Camp.” First, we tested the 47 students and placed them into three different groups by age and language ability, Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! We had some students who spoke no English at all and some who already spoke very fluently. On the first day of camp some looked at us with big, curious eyes, but after the first few days even the youngest ones who spoke no English we’re using useful phrases like, “May I go to the bathroom?” “I’m hungry!” and “How do you spell that?” We really enjoyed getting to know the children and watching their English skills progress.
We designed the program to be like a typical American style camp with an American School theme. The students changed periods like the American high school system and they attended various classes. Our main goal was to have FUN!

We included lots of interactive, hands-on activities that focused on developing conversational skills and getting to know a little about American culture. The students were enthusiastic about learning English and we sparked their curiosity. The students made T-shirts in Art, created volcanoes in Science, learned about Thanksgiving in Social Studies, practiced rhyming with Dr. Suess in English Literature, sang High School Musical songs in Drama, played soccer in P.E., did Show&Tell in Homeroom, and played games in Free Period. These were only a few of the activities. We kept them very busy and they keep us on our toes as well.
We even had the students participate in the

American school tradition of Spirit Week.
This is a day when students show school
pride by wearing funny clothes to school.
For example, Monday was HAT day;
Tuesday was WACKY day;
Wednesday was PAJAMA day;
Thursday was INSIDE OUT day;
Friday was SPIRIT day. The students were

a little hesitant to wear these crazy clothes to school at first, but then they really started to have fun with it. At the end of the camp, we had a final presentation for the parents so that the students could show off their new skills. Since our theme was the American School we had the students sing three songs in English from the popular American movie, High School Musical. They memorized the words and some of the older students even had speaking lines. It was a great success and the parents were very pleased with their children’s accomplishments.
We couldn’t have done it alone. We were very lucky because we had so many people helping us. Mr. Lee, Jennifer, Matthew, and Cris were lifesavers. We had three teaching assistants who spoke Korean and English, so they helped us in the classroom and everywhere else. Without them we wouldn’t have even been able to order food from a menu, which was all in Korean of course.
see more pictures

Gamsa hamnida! (= Thank you in Korean).
After the camp was finished we had a great opportunity to travel around Korea. We went to a historic city called Gyeongju and it was really breathtaking. We saw magnificent pagodas, huge statues of Buddha, tombs of kings, the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia, beautiful palaces, and much more. And we ate a wonderful ginseng and garlic stuffed chicken in a traditional restaurant. Then we went to Seoul for four days and we spent a lot of time shopping and sightseeing. Seoul is a very modern metropolis with huge skyscrapers and unique architecture, but you can also see remnants of the ancient days. We took a tour of the beautiful Changdeokgung Palace and we even had some snow while we were there, so that only added to the magic of the city.
Oh yeah….the food. We always had so much food and it was so healthy and delicious. For the traditional Korean meal you take off your shoes and sit down on the floor and eat at a table that’s low to the ground. Everybody uses chopsticks to share the many, many little dishes scattered all over the table. One of my favorite dishes from Korea is Bulgogi, which is a mix of thinly sliced beef marinated in a sweet soy sauce in a broth with vegetables served over noodles or rice. I also really like Mandu, which is a small dumpling filled with meat, vegetables, and herbs. Be careful! Some of the food is really spicy, but very delicious.
If you ever have the opportunity to travel there I highly recommend it!

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